Dispatches From The Future (B-List)

Since I started the Dispatches I’ve been getting a minor bump in readership. That’s a good thing. Nothing like what I expect should I bleed on the blog about my seizures, but a bump nonetheless. That’s something because its not about me breaking down. Those reads are about me making something.

Also, it should be noted that I’m opening this up. I’ve written a couple so far and I’d like to see what you guys might have up your sleaves. Rules? Simple. There are some great examples of what I’m looking for at the PopSci link. These are vignettes of life at some point in the future. They should be around 500 words. More is okay, but less is much better. If you need assistance with editorial work, I’m happy to help.


Scare Tactics

“Should you decide to step out of line,” said Detective Pérez, “know that you’ve already been caught. It might seem a little like magic, but it’s math.”

The response from the classroom was predictable. A communal noise somewhere between a scoff and a irreverent chuckle. One of the kids, a skinny caucasian boy wearing an Ubu LED light up shirt and Freez boots, crossed his arms over his chest and said, “You can’t catch nothin’ Cheezer. Nothin’ but dust.”

Pérez tapped her right temple and bracketed the kid’s head with the target reticle floating in her vision. An eye blink later his dossier became an augmented vision floating transparently before her.

“Reuben Seth Wilson, you’ve already been arraigned twice in Juvy court system. And it looks like you’ve got a hearing scheduled next month for a traffic ticket. Thirty-five over the limit? Hum, you should prepare for a Reckless Endangerment charge too,” Pérez said.

The snicker-sneer was now focused on Wilson who shrunk a little in his seat. “Everyone gets caught, because everyone is in the system,” Pérez continued. “Wilson you signed a EULA when you purchased that Ubu shirt and those sneakers you’re wearing. That EULA tied you into the internet of things and gave law enforcement access to any meta-information you produce while wearing your stylish garments. We know everything about you. We’re better than Santa Clause that way, because once you’re beyond the Juvenile system we don’t have to wait for you to fuck up.”

A stillness descended on the classroom for perhaps the first time in the history of the building. “That’s right, you’re all nearing your eighteenth birthday. That’s why you’re here. The idea is that I’m supposed to scare you into minding your P’s and Q’s. But that never works. I’m a little woman, and a cop to boot. I can’t scare you with my piece or my authority, so I’m going to do it with math. Predictive data science to be exact. I know when you’re going to commit a crime before you do. So enjoy the little bit of time you have left before your next birthday, because after that day, I’ll have officers waiting to bag and tag you. You’ll be arraigned and processed and on your way to lockup from sentencing within seven business days of capture, and you’d better prey that you don’t already have a record of sociopathic behavior, because you’re future will be bleak if you do.”

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Dispatches From The Future (B-List)

Toyota

 

Toyota Motor Metrocology, Inc.
1001 Industrial Circle, Floor 2472-7782
Industrial Conclave, Union of Free Businesses 27247

Certain 2047 through 2049 Model Year Praxus
Potential Selective Behavior with Autonomous Navigation Systems
Safety Recall Campaign (Interim Notice)

VIN: ##################

Dear Toyota Owner:

This notice is being sent to you in accordance with the requirements of the International Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Toyota has concluded that a defect exists within your vehicle’s Autonomous Navigation System. Under certain circumstances this defect may place passengers in uncomfortable or unsafe driving conditions.

This notification is Toyota’s second attempt to contact you to remedy this situation. If you have previously attempted to return your Praxus to the dealership and been unsuccessful please follow the instructions contained in the workaround outlined below.

What is the risk?

Vehicles equipped with the second generation ANS may become unresponsive to destination instructions. This may result in the vehicle driving away without passengers, not taking passengers to their desired location, and in some situations, where the Praxus ANS has been allowed to communicate with certain Ford IntelliNav™ and General Motors LongHaul AutoNav™ vehicle intelligence counterparts, Praxus owners have been placed in situations that could result in crash, serious injury, and death.

What will Toyota do?

Toyota will reformat your vehicle’s Autonmous Navigation System, replacing it with a version that does not exercise independent decision making capabilities and lacks some basic executive function.

What should you do?

If this is your first attempt to return your vehicle to the dealership where recall work can be performed on it, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Enter vehicle and request that it proceed to the location specified in the warranty return notes provided later in this recall notice.
  2. Enjoy your ride! Toyota will be happy to provide a loaner car while this flaw is being corrected.

If you have previously attempted to return your vehicle to the dealership, or if your Praxus ANS refuses to take you to the specified destination, please follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. Obtain Heavy Weight Aluminum Foil. Tear off about half a meter of foil and cover the Praxus Interlink Module located on the roof of your vehicle. Ensure that you secure this foil with tape and that no gaps or holes exist.
  2. Only provide the address of the dealership to your ANS unit. If queried for further information about the destination, YOU MUST HAVE A WELL REHEARSED FABRICATION ABOUT THE DESTINATION READY TO USE. The description provided must sound “fun” or “interesting” to your Praxus ANS. Please keep in mind that voice recognition software resident in the Praxus ANS is constantly measuring your speech, and can detect human stress levels. If the ANS suspects you may be returning it to the dealership it may behave erratically.
  3. Sit back and enjoy the ride! Toyota will be happy to provide a loaner car while this flaw is being corrected, however, vehicle apprehension and towing services are not included in standard warranty repair contract.

Dispatches From The Future (B-List)

PopSci recently debuted a collection of very short shorts from “Ten of the brightest minds in science fiction.” It’s a very worthy read if you’ve got a couple of minutes to kill. Lots of humor packed into very few words. Plus, I love the idea. In part, because I love short stories. In part, because I love flash fiction. Also, writing something is a whole lot more fun than vacuuming or revisions, and that’s what I’ll be doing otherwise. So I’m turning it into a writing exercise right here on FeetForBrains.


 

Avacado

I was super excited to head home to my gallery apartment today because in this week’s grocery shipment I fully expected to find a lovely box of HAAS avocados waiting for me along side all the usual. When I was a kid I recall heading off to the super market with my mother and walking away with loads of these little buggers. They were so tasty. She’d cut them in half, pull out the pit, and hand me a spoon. But it’s been an age since there was such a thing as markets, and avocados have become about as rare as ice in the arctic.

Unfortunately, I let my anticipation of this delectable treat and the nostalgia for old-timey unprocessed food stuffs come before any sort of reasonable, contemporary assessment of the status quo. This despite the fact that I’m constantly surrounded by swarms of pilotless delivery drones. They dodge through crowds of people at the train station. They zip past my head when I take the skywalk from one end of the arcology to the other. They’re every where and always moving at a tremendous speed, performing amazing aerobatic feats that would turn a mere mortal into jello.

So it should have been no great surprise that the box I received on the door mat before my apartment was little more than the final resting place for the once delicate fruits of one Persea americana tree. The cardboard coffin contained only a greenish-brown slush resembling guacamole that had gone off. It’s truly amazing what 10 gravity turns will do an avocado.